Passengers who have arrived from Bolivia in the early hours of this Wednesday at T4 of Madrid’s Barajas airport they confirm to OKDIARIO that they have not had to pass a PCR test or a rapid antibody test.

A young woman in her 40s points out that it would be wise that these diagnostic tests were done in origin, but recognizes that the means available to a country like Bolivia are very scarce. «I am concerned that Bolivians are stigmatized. We have to be responsible to avoid spreading and spreading, “he adds. In addition, he points out that it is striking that Spaniards traveling to Bolivia do have to pass a PCR test.

Another young woman says that inside the plane the safety distance has not been saved. «I have asked the airline why there was no social distancing and they have told me that they had a system that renews the air. But I don’t know, the virus is there and who knows if any passenger has traveled with the virus even if they don’t have symptoms, “says this Bolivian woman who assures that, despite the fact that in her family several people work facing the public in a supermarket, Fortunately, there have been no confirmed cases nearby.

Other passengers downplay the virus and point out that there are not as many deaths from Covid-19 in the Andean country. “There are deaths from many other causes that point to the coronavirus,” said several interviewees.

This is stated, among others, by a middle-aged Bolivian who, like most of the passage, lives in Spain but after a trip to see his family, he had to stay several months in his country. “The virus is not as ugly as the media portrays it“This man considers that he admits, however, that he will remain in quarantine for 14 days, as he has promised in writing by signing a form from the Ministry of Health.

Another Bolivian linked to the diplomatic world insists on the idea that in Bolivia there are not so many dead by Covid-19 as the Government and the press say. In his case, he explains, he will not be quarantined because after a stopover in Madrid he will go to Switzerland where he works. «As far as I understand there is no need to quarantine », sustains.

All these passengers come from a flight made in a Boing 767-300 aircraft that took off from the international airport of Santa Cruz and that has reached the Spanish capital past six in the morning, after an hour of delay due to storms. The airline that has operated this trip has been BOA (Boliviana de Aviación).

Sprouts for these flights

As OKDIARIO has published, the government of Pedro Sánchez It continues to resist implementing effective control measures at Spanish airports, despite the inevitable risk of outbreaks in cases imported from other countries. From Bolivia at least five infected to Spain via Barajas through two “humanitarian” flights in the last few weeks before the alarm state ended. Three with final destination to Murcia and a couple that later moved to Menorca (Balearic Islands).

The Andean country is currently going through its most critical scenario of the pandemic, with an explosion of daily cases. This Monday, for example, the Ministry of Health reported 1,105 new infections in 24 hours. A record number.

Passengers upon arrival at Barajas airport. (Photo: EP)

The three infected from a flight in early June have sparked a flare-up in Murcia with at least 17 infected and 60 people under surveillance. Spain only asked them to fill out a questionnaire with their location data and to keep a 14-day quarantine at the destination. More than 450 European passengers traveled from this international airport Santa Cruz-Viru Viru, the most important in Bolivia. The company offered the flight for “all Spanish residents stranded in Bolivia and all Bolivians stranded in Europe.” On the part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was said that these passengers were “assisted by the Embassy in La Paz and the Consulate in Santa Cruz de la Sierra” to “facilitate their return.”

Critical moment

The situation in the country is being very complicated, as in the rest of Latin America, where the pandemic is currently at its most critical moment. Along these lines, one of the interviewees at T4 pointed out: «Me above all I would not like to be in Brazil now, where is the worst ».

In any case, Bolivia already adds 25,493 positives and 820 deaths, according to the computation collected by the Bolivian news agency ABI. Precisely, the region of Santa Cruz, where the travelers who entered Spain came from, is by far the most hit by the pandemic at present, with 15,067 cases, after registering 568 this Monday.

Bolivia has been in rigid quarantine. Despite this, the curve of cases continues to rise. The situation is dramatic, with the health centers saturated, which has caused many patients to be unable to be assisted. Cemeteries have also run out of space and emergency graves have had to be dug. There have been reports of cases of possible infections in different parts of the country who perished on the street when they were taken to a hospital or at home without receiving healthcare.

The Police and the Army carry out house-to-house searches to detect possible infections. Also apply exit restrictions addresses, on alternate days depending on the termination of the identity card. The Bolivian government predicts a pessimistic scenario this summer, with more than 130,000 cases.

Ayuso claims PCR

The situation in these countries fully impacts Spain. The lack of effective controls in Barajas has caused a new confrontation between the central government and the Community of Madrid. The Executive of Isabel Díaz Ayuso tries to prevent Barajas from becoming a ‘strainer’ for coronavirus infections and has launched a SUMMA device destined 24 hours at the aerodrome, which would be in charge of carrying out PCR tests in cases detected by Foreign Health and its transfer for isolation.

In addition, and to guarantee said isolation of those imported cases of a slight nature, the autonomous Executive raises his referral to a medicalized hotel, a formula that he already used at the peak of the pandemic.

The Community has transferred to Salvador Illa the «Deep concern given the risk involved in not immediately adopting effective prevention and containment measures »that help prevent the arrival of imported cases of Covid-19 at the airport. Come “Insufficient” control measures on coronaviruses launched at the main Spanish airport. Especially since “imported cases have already been detected in Spain” that “have entered through the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport”.

Along these lines, Ayuso advocates control of the disease in countries of origin and claims a restriction on flights from countries with a contagion rate higher than that of Spain or all the countries in the Schengen area. In addition, it claims the “requirement” to be able to ship to Spain for a negative PCR diagnostic test on Covid-19 in the 48 hours prior to departure.